“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.” -Julia Child
Where did your journey to a healthier life start? Was it something for you that made you think, “Hmm, what are ways that I can make small shifts in my day to day to achieve optimal health? Are there things that I am doing on a regular basis that make me feel great, or not so great?”
For me, the journey started from within. You see, at 28, I found myself on three major pharmaceutical medications. Eventually, the side effects from the medications became harder to deal with than the “hard things” that they were supposed to be treating.
That's when I started researching alternative ways to heal! I am a believer that living a healthy life includes all essentials for well-being: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational, social. The fuel that drives this is the food that we put into our bodies!
It has taken years for me to get to know what foods work for me. How I eat is going to affect me differently than how you eat, and in my opinion knowing this is extremely important. Listen to what your body is telling you.
See below for my interview with Dana Bufalino, a certified holistic health coach and a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to understand her approach to the importance of nutrition and holistic living.
SS: “Let food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” - Hippocrates, 460 BC. Studies show that there is a real power in food. What you eat can have extreme benefits towards your overall health, allowing for a happier and longer life. In your education and training, what are the most important foods to add to your diet?
Kind Roots: You’re speaking my language. That's my favorite quote! I truly feel we have the ability to heal ourselves with food every time we sit down to the table….which should be at least 3 times per day. Skipping meals or eating food that doesn’t support us is like putting sand in a gas tank. We can’t run well on bad fuel.
With that in mind, REAL food is the most important food that we can add to our diet. So many people in our society are pressed for time so are eating processed, food-like substances that lack nourishment and nutrients. Replacing processed foods with whole foods - vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat/fish (if you wish) and healthy, unprocessed fats - will help alleviate inflammation, help drop the weight, prevent and treat so many ailments, the list goes on.
Within the real food realm? VEGETABLES. A piece of advice I often give: fill your plate with a rainbow of vegetables at each meal. It will give you a high nutrient profile, great fiber, alkalize your body and fill you up!
SS: As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, what is your approach to working with clients to help them feel wonderful, from the inside? What are some of your specialties?
Kind Roots: When I start a relationship with a new client, my first matter of business is usually re-establishing their relationship with food…..helping them understand how to eat mindfully and that food can heal and fuel your body. Food is NOT the enemy.
I especially love helping clients alleviate migraine, many common skin issues and helping women regulate their cycles after birth control. I also have something very special relating to fertility in the works with Blue Heron Acupuncture & Apothecary that I am very excited about and will be announcing soon! Stay tuned!
SS: In this fast paced world that we live in, what are your tips for staying healthy on the go?
Kind Roots: Plan ahead! Have healthy snacks/meals on hand. If the healthy option is the most convenient one, it takes more effort to be bad than it does to be good. Look at menus online to decide what you’ll order BEFORE you’re sitting at the restaurant with an empty stomach
Also, make food in bulk! Instead of making dinner for two, make it for four and save the additional portions for lunch the next day. Why do twice the work?
SS: Are there added benefits to your health by eating seasonally? If so, what should we focus on when preparing meals during Summer / Fall / Winter / Spring?
Kind Roots: Absolutely! There are so many benefits to aligning your body with the seasons.
A few tips:
Summer: Lighten up! Summer is the season to eat raw foods that are cooling to the body so load up on fresh produce. It’s readily available and SO tasty! Fruits, raw lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, the list goes on!
Fall: Many foods that are harvested in Fall are (very conveniently) known to repair damage from summer months (sun exposure, dryness, etc.). Load up on squash, pumpkin, apple. Start to eat warmer foods as the temperature falls.
Winter: Ditch the smoothies and cold salads and opt for warm, nurturing soups, stews, teas instead. Keep that body temperature up.
Spring: Most of Spring’s bounty is naturally detoxifying. Cool, right? Asparagus, artichokes, etc. - all very detoxing to the body. Pay attention to nature’s influence and “detox” the rest of your diet as well. “Spring cleaning” is a phrase for a reason, after all.
SS: What does wellness mean to Kind Roots?
Kind Roots: Wellness means treating your body kindly from an all-encompassing standpoint. Eating food that fuels your unique body, practicing daily habits that feel good + make you happy, creating a positive environment for yourself, surrounding yourself with supportive, inspiring individuals. The good and bad news: there is no one size fits all approach. It is individual to YOU! Listen to your body and trust your gut - it will tell you what supports you!
“One man’s poison is another man’s penicillin.” We are all unique individuals who thrive on different foods and lifestyle choices. Find what works well for you and don’t compare your journey to your neighbor’s.
As with anything that I share, feel free to reach out with questions or comments!